Antisocial Personality Disorder: Symptoms and Treatment

Antisocial Personality Disorder: Symptoms and Treatment

The Antisocial Personality Disorder It is characterized by a long-lasting pattern of abuse of other people's rights, manipulation and criminal behavior in general. It is diagnosed from the age of 18, but it is estimated that many of the symptoms develop in previous ages. When similar symptomatology is detected before the age of 15, although it is not normally so pronounced, then we will be talking about the Disocial Disorder of Personality.

A person with Antisocial Personality Disorder (TPA) often feels little or no empathy for others and sees no problem in transgressing the law for their own benefit.

They tend to be insensitive, cynical and contemptuous towards the feelings, rights and suffering of others. They may have an inflated and arrogant self-assessment (for example, they feel that work is something that is not up to it, they lack a realistic concern about their current problems or their future) and can be overly stubborn, confident themselves and even conceited. They are superficial, fickle and when speaking they usually use verbal jargon to impress those who are not familiar with their habits.


  • 1 Main symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder
  • 2 How is Antisocial Personality Disorder diagnosed?
  • 3 The causes of Antisocial Personality Disorder
  • 4 Treatment of the Antisocial Personality Disorder

Main symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial Personality Disorder is diagnosed when an antisocial behavior pattern occurs that includes most of the following symptoms:

  • Lack of conformity with social norms and habitual breaking of the law.
  • Cheat, lie and cheat others for their own benefit or simply for pleasure.
  • Impulsivity and failure to plan the future.
  • Irritability and aggressiveness, including repeated physical fights and aggressions.
  • Reckless indifference to the security of self and others.
  • Regular irresponsibility, such as inability to maintain a stable job or maintain financial obligations.
  • The lack of regrets and indifference towards the feelings of others.

According to the DSM-V, Antisocial Personality Disorder cannot be diagnosed in people under 18 years of age.

Antisocial Personality Disorder is 70% more frequent in men than in women. According to the research, the prevalence rate of this disorder is between 0.2% and 3.3% of the general population.

Like most personality disorders, Antisocial Personality Disorder often decreases in intensity with age.

How is Antisocial Personality Disorder diagnosed?

The vast majority of people with Antisocial Personality Disorder do not seek treatment. This is a very common feature in people with personality disorders, who usually do not seek help until the disease begins to significantly interfere with their lives and those of their relatives. This usually occurs when their coping resources can no longer cope with the different conflicting events of life.

A diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder should be made by a trained mental health professional, comparing your symptoms and life history with those listed here.

The causes of Antisocial Personality Disorder

Today's researchers do not know what causes Antisocial Personality Disorder. There are many theories about the possible causes. Most professionals agree with a biopsychosocial model of causality, that is, the causes of are probably due to biological, social (for example, how a person interacts in their early development with family and friends and other children), and psychological (personality and temperament factors of the individual, shaped by their surroundings). This suggests that a single factor is not responsible, rather it is the complex and probably intertwined nature of the three factors that trigger this disorder.

If a person suffers from a personality disorder, it has been observed that there is a slight increase in the risk of such a disorder being transmitted to their children.

Treatment of the Antisocial Personality Disorder

As we have already said, people with Antisocial Personality Disorder do not admit that they have a problem, much less that they need help or treatment. For this reason it is imperative that there is an external stimulus strong enough or important enough to help them accept that condition. This may come from the family itself or even from justice, which orders it to take treatment.

It is not strange that this disorder is aggravated due to drug use, something relatively common in these individuals. For this reason, therapy often must address both problems. Group therapy can be key to make the person understand that he can interact with others without the need for violence or contempt. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps modify dysfunctional thinking patterns and stimulate positive behaviors in society.

In psychiatry, medications are used to combat specific symptoms, such as aggressiveness and irritability. Drugs known as "antipsychotics" have proven successful in treating this disorder. While it is assumed that TPA is a chronic disease, some symptoms - especially criminal behavior - may gradually decrease over time and proper treatment.